Do You Think You can Spot a Fake?

I recently read an interesting article from on consumer electronics purchases – and how consumers may be overly confident in their ability to spot counterfeit electronic equipment. The article quotes a study from Canon USA.

I found it interesting that the survey revealed that consumers trust their instincts, but seem to lack the understanding of the possible safety risks and the true long-term costs of counterfeit consumer electronics. What was even more compelling based on the survey was that consumers seem overconfident in their ability to spot a fake, and as a result, are at risk of possible harm.

Interesting enough this recent survey by Canon reveals:
• In 2013, 12 percent of the U.S. consumers surveyed knowingly bought fake consumer electronics, while 18 percent bought them unknowingly.
• 40 percent of U.S. consumers surveyed were unaware that counterfeit consumer electronics may harm them.
• 45 percent believed that counterfeit consumer electronics do the job just as well as genuine consumer electronics

I strongly recommend that any consumer be cautious of buying an electronic product at “an affordable price” and to be leery of purchasing a product without an authentic manufacturer’s certificate of warranty/compliance or an authorized distributor’s certificate of the same. In addition, it would be a wise idea to investigate the product’s model number and serial numbers. It would be helpful to alert the manufacturer if you believe that the product you purchased is counterfeit.

Checking for the certificate of warranty/compliance and checking model numbers and serial numbers has proven very helpful in the electronic component testing industry in containing the counterfeit electronics epidemic.


Author: josephfedericonj

Joseph Federico is Vice President and Director of Operations for NJ MET, Inc., located in Clifton, NJ. He speaks world-wide on current issues in Electronic Component Testing. Among his responsibilities at NJMET, Inc. is heading up its charity programs.